The government is strictly monitoring pork supplies to prevent hoarding and illegal imports amid falling prices as a result of warehouses releasing more pork into the market.
The outbreak of African swine fever (ASF) has put a strain not just on the meat industry, but also consumers, who have had to spend more money to buy pork products, whose prices have soared to record highs. Authorities have resorted to culling pigs in an effort to stem the spread of the disease, which has caused the population of breeding pigs to decline.
According to Deputy Government Spokesperson Ratchada Thanadirek, Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Chalermchai Srion has instructed officials to cooperate with various departments to continuously inspect warehouses and businesses.
From January 20 to February 4, 2022, 24.48 million kg of pork were inspected throughout 1,303 cold storage facilities. Following the inspections, facilities tightened their storage and receiving procedures to ensure the uninterrupted distribution of supplies.
The Department of Livestock Development (DLD) has pressed legal charges against eight companies and 17 accomplices for violating the Communicable Diseases Act B.E 2558 (2015) and Control of Animal Slaughter for the Distribution of Meat Act B.E 2559 (2016). Officials have seized 1.07 million kg of pork, including 1.04 million kg recently confiscated from a warehouse in Nakhon Pathom province.
How many breeding pigs are there on the market?
Before the ASF outbreak, it was estimated there were 1.1 million breeding pigs in the market. That number has dropped to around 660,000 today. Meanwhile, the total number of pigs available in the market went down from an average of 20 million pigs to about 15 million pigs as of June last year.
This month, it was estimated there were only 10 million pigs available — before the ASF outbreak, and Thais consume about 18 million pigs each year.
The deputy government spokesperson said reports from the DLD have shown wholesale pork prices dropping to about 100-104 baht per kg, retail prices at malls falling to 160-166 baht per kg, and retail prices for consumers currently hovering around 198-208 baht per kg. She also advised members of the public to call the DLD’s hotline at 063-225-6888 to report any suspicious livestock activities.